News From The  Kids' Book Club Book
In This Issue
Readers Recommend
Your Book Club Can Help
The Camel Bookmobile Drawing
October Book Blast
Invite an Author
Upcoming Events

Fall, 2007

We're pleased to bring you the introductory issue of Book Beat, a newsletter for kids' and teen book clubs. You'll find book recommendations and other ideas from book clubs across the country, contests to win books for your club, and more. In future issues, we'll feature recipes and activity ideas from authors and book clubs.

Enjoy!  And please take a moment to share news from your book club with us.


Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp
Co-authors of The Kids' Book Club Book 
and The Book Club Cookbook
Readers Recommend
Recommended books Suggestions from Youth Book Clubs

DCF Book Club of Orwell, Vermont, recommends:

Grades 5-8

By These Ten Bones by Claire Dunkle
(Henry Holt, 2005), Fiction, 240 pages

"The kids loved the scariness and the thrill of the story, which relates to fears of 'things that go bump in the night' and of the dark. Parts of the story have a real edge-of-your-seat quality.  The young heroine needs to make a very scary decision at the climax of the story and many discussion questions can come out of this dilemma. This book is relatively short and can be shared around the group for the month of October, culminating with a fairy tale costume party and book discussion around Halloween."

More book recommendations
Your Book Club Can Help
NowYouSeeHerBring Books To Remote Parts of Africa - on Camels!

Journalist and novelist Masha Hamilton became intrigued with the idea of the camel library when her oldest child told her about an article describing a mobile library in central Africa. For over a decade, the mobile library has used camels to bring books to semi-nomadic settlements, areas plagued by drought, famine, and poverty, in northeastern Kenya.

When Hamilton heard about the library's rule - if a borrower did not return a book, then the camels would not return to the settlement - a story came to her that ultimately inspired her third novel, The Camel Bookmobile (HarperCollins, 2007), about an American librarian who travels to Africa to work with a camel library. Hamilton researched the camel library and the region of Kenya where it operates while writing her novel, and after completing The Camel Bookmobile, she and her daughter had the opportunity to visit and walk into the bush with the real camel book library.  "I realized how crucial these books are and how many are needed," she says.  The books, written in English or Swahili, the two official primary languages of Kenya,  "are spread out on grass mats beneath an acacia tree, and the library patrons, often barefoot, sometimes joined by goats or donkeys, gather with great excitement to choose their books until the next visit," she adds.
Earlier this year, Hamilton established the Camel Book Drive, a fund to support the library, and a website to promote the effort.  At first, Hamilton reached out to fellow authors to support the effort, and is now encouraging all book lovers, including book clubs, to help.  "Supporting the Camel Book Drive is a terrific activity for book groups who want to help promote literacy in a region with absolutely no infrastructure, and no access to books except those carried by the camel bookmobile. It's a way to share a love of reading," Hamilton says. She has offered to speak to any book clubs by phone that would like to learn about the real camel bookmobile, and ways their book group might support the Camel Book Drive.


The Camel Book Drive website provides links to the library's book wish lists on Amazon and Powell's Book's websites so donors can purchase and send the books
directly. "You can also send your own books," says Hamilton. "The readers love when someone inscribes a book. My son included his age and wrote notes to the readers. The librarians in Kenya say it helps their patrons feel connected to places only barely imagined."

Children's books are most needed, and the Amazon wish list provides ideas.   Financial donations are helping the camel librarians set up a small outpost library where they will base three camels and extend their reach deeper into the bush. Information on mailing books to the camel library, and photos and video of the library can also be found on the site.

The Camel Bookmobile Drawing
CamelBookcover Teen Book Clubs
Enter a drawing to win copies of Masha Hamilton's The Camel Bookmobile
for your group (up to 15 copies).
The winning book club can also have
a conversation with Masha Hamilton
about the book. Enter your club in the
drawing. Deadline: October 31, 2007.

October Book Blast
Enter to Win Books for Your Club
To celebrate the launch of The Kids Book ClubStory Beginnings
Book, we're giving away books!  You can enter monthly drawings for sets
of terrific titles for your youth book club. Book Blast titles change each month and will include books for elementary, middle, and high school age readers, so please check back to see the new titles on the first of each month.

October titles: The Book of Story Beginnings by Kristin Kladstrup and The Camel Bookmobile by Masha Hamilton.
Invite an Author
Invite an AuthorSpeak to an Author by Phone
Our directory of authors ready to chat with your kids' and teen book clubs on the phone continues to grow. Current young adult authors include Alison Bell, Stephanie Hale, Donna Woolfolk Cross, Kimberly Willis Holt, Kristin Kladstrup, Marie Myung-Ok Lee, and Jacquelyn Mitchard. Please browse our complete list of available authors and their books. You can also search authors by categories of their work, including young adult and intermediate readers.  Once you've decided which author(s) you'd like to invite, contact the author(s) directly through our website and arrange a date to speak with them. We hope you'll give it a try!
Upcoming events
KBCB cover
After a summer of resting and reading, we're preparing for a fall of traveling and presenting on The Kids' Book Club Book and The Book Club Cookbook.  Please check our schedule of events to see if we'll be in your area.